Poll:  When on business trips, do you eat lunch?

Recently I was driving to work, listening to the radio, and I heard a story about minifasting.  Essentially 3-5-15 iStock-Unfinished-Business-10minifasting is going about fifteen hours without eating, twice per week (consult your doctor before trying something like this).  The idea is that it’s supposed to help you lose weight better than some traditional low fat diets.  Studies say it can lower blood sugar and increase energy and focus (weird because when I don’t eat it has the opposite affect).  They also said your brain adapts to the fasting by figuring out new ways to get energy, which I guess in turn makes the fasting easier as time goes on.

So at this point you may be wondering: what does this have to do with travel? Well, when I travel for business I often find myself unintentionally skipping lunch.  I’m not talking about while at the airport (although it’s not always easy to eat there either!) but instead about once I’m at the office working.  I get caught up in meetings, conversations with clients, or presentations (among other things), and if I don’t plan a lunch break before I know it I’ve missed my opportunity.  With an early breakfast and a late dinner I find myself getting close to doing an unintentional minifast on weeks that I travel.   I’m partly to blame for this by not being more in control of my day, but I also believe this is happening in part based on another story I heard on here & Now about the end of the lunch hour.

The here & Now story talks about how employees are working through lunch more and are either eating at their desk or skipping lunch all together.  This, in turn, is causing employees to be less productive because being confined to an unchanged environment for too long hurts our innovation and creativity.  I work from home, and when I’m at home I hardly ever skip my lunch.  I also I try to leave for lunch at least a couple times of week for to clear my mind when I’m not traveling.  However, when I travel I’m mostly at the mercy of who I’m visiting.  More often than not my clients are either not eating lunch, or if they are it’s in the office at different times throughout the day, making it difficult to make real lunch plans.  I find myself often times eating a KIND bar just to hold me through till dinner, or again just skipping lunch all together.

When I first started traveling I was proactive about making lunch plans before I left for a trip, but as time has progressed I’ve seen priority of the lunch hour fade away from the people I’m visiting.  When the people you are visiting don’t take lunch, it’s really hard to justify it for yourself when you’re in someone else’s environment.

That brings me to my poll.  I want to know if others have trouble fitting lunch into their schedule while traveling for business.

When on business trips, do you eat lunch?

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  1. When I am in my office I usually find myself looking up and thinking why am I so hungry only to discover that it is already mid-afternoon and time slid by. Solutions vary from granola bars to the thin mint Girl Scout cookies I currently have stashed in my mini-office fridge. When I am on the road for business it is usually because I am delivering a training and we have scheduled breaks for lunch. So I might catch up with a colleague over lunch or scarf a sandwich while frantically responding to emails on my cell phone. I prefer the colleague lunches but the frantic grab and stuff is sometimes unavoidable.

  2. May not work for everyone, but 5 small meals daily totaling less than 2k calories keeps me trim and energized.

  3. I don’t travel for work, but I do the 5/2 fast thing. Apart from being cranky on long days when I don’t get a decent lunch, I have no problems with energy or concentration. I find it easier to eat no breakfast, a tiny lunch and a smallish dinner to keep under my calorie limit, but a friend skips both breakfast and lunch and eats his normal dinner on those days. I haven’t tried this as I’m a monster on those days as it is. Luckily my coworkers are supportive when I’m fasting, would like to see me lose weight and understand if I’m a bit cranky with them. I would never do this if I had to meet clients as part of my job – I would alienate them all!

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